Who will be the next Tiger woods?
We live in a country where it seems nearly impossible to keep up with the latest trends. The reason being that we as a culture are always looking for the Next Big Thing. The sports world is not immune to this and as fans we are constantly debating who will be the next great superstar. Since Michael Jordan finally hung it up with the Wizards in 2003, what’s been the question every NBA fan has asked? Who’s the next Michael Jordan? Is it Kobe? Is it Lebron?
Tiger Woods has been a household name since he was 22 years old and dominated the competition at the 1997 Masters. What was the first question we all asked? Is he the next Jack Nicklaus? My answer is no! I believe that Tiger Woods is the first Tiger Woods not the next Nicklaus. Even if Tiger was to accomplish his lifelong dream of 18 major titles, I still would not say he’s the next Jack because their careers have been completely different.
The golf landscape today looks a lot different than 20 years ago; the modern golfer has become an athlete. You don’t see many successful players on tour these days with a gut. The days of Craig Stadler, John Daly, and Mark O’Meara are gone. Tiger Woods is an athlete and his workout routines have become stuff of legend in golf circles. Players like Rory McIlory, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, and Zach Johnson have all helped change the image that the world has of a professional golfer.
Even as these golfers become stronger and longer off the tee than ever – Bubba Watson recorded a 362 yard drive at the 2014 Masters – the great equalizer is and always will be on the greens. The putting green has stolen more hearts than all the actresses in Hollywood combined. When Tiger Woods was at the top of his game, there was no one you feared more to be paired with on a Sunday than Woods. The back nine on a Sunday for Woods almost became like his own personal curtain call, being that he was so automatic. In the 53 times Woods has held or shared the lead going into the final round of a PGA Tour event, he has won 49 times. Retief Goosen is the only player to come from four or more behind Woods and beaten him, which he did at the Tour Championship in 2004. Tiger has that killer instinct that every great athlete has had from Joe Montana to Michael Jordan.
I know you might feel that I’m taking the easy way out by saying that there will never be another Tiger Woods. That’s fine, but do me a favor: Take three of the best young golfers in the game today and ask yourself, “Do you really think that these three golfers combine will win 14 major titles?” I thought so.
But, what do you think? Who do you think could be the next golf pro as dangerous on the greens and as successful at the majors?